GEORGE â Brenda Sandbulte has helped lead the George-Little Rock High School trip to Washington, DC and New York every three years since 1997, but she still enjoys watching student reactions to the sight.
The longtime English and social studies teacher will once again take around 55 speech, drama and music and chaperone students to cities on the east coast next July for a week. The trip will include visiting monuments, visiting museums and attending a Broadway show.
âI love to turn in my seat and watch them look at things and open their eyes,â Sandbulte said. “I would say that a third to half of the children have never flown before, so being able to give them these experiences is just a joy.”
The group will depart from Omaha, in the NE, and then travel through metropolitan hubs in a charter bus during the trip.
Mustangs will first spend approximately two and a half days in the nation’s capital to see all of the major landmarks as well as the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Tourists will also take a boat cruise on the Potomac River and visit Mount Vernon, the former home of George Washington.
âWe run pretty much all of DC,â Sandbulte said. “You name it, we see it.”
The last part of the trip is in New York City, where the travel program includes visits to Ellis Island, Times Square, Rockefeller Center and other cultural sites like Little Italy and Chinatown.
âWe’re just on the way. We make the travel agency work for their money. We see as much as we can, âSandbulte said.
She’s hoping to secure tickets to see âThe Lion Kingâ on Broadway, although she noted that September was still early to purchase tickets for a show that is slated for next summer. She said the tour group typically sees two Broadway shows in the Big Apple, but can swap the second to see a Renaissance show instead.
The cost per person to make the trip is $ 1,950, which covers airfare, breakfast, dinner, hotel expenses, charter bus, and tickets to tourist attractions. The only student expenses will be travel t-shirts, lunch, and any other keepsakes they wish to purchase.
The high school hosts several fundraising events throughout the school year to help students pay for the trip, including a golf tournament that the Mustangs Booster Club is hosting on Saturday, September 18 at the Otter Valley Country Club south of George.
Registration for the best ball competition for four people costs $ 40 per person and takes place from 8:30 am to 9:00 am; the tournament will start at 9:30 am Money covers entry to the nine-hole competition as well as a golf cart to use and lunch afterwards.
âThe golf course was very gracious in helping us organize this since I’ve never done it before,â said Sandbulte.
Other fundraising efforts will include selling Pastry Puffins through Dutchland Frozen Foods in Lester and participating in community service work. Students recently helped clean the high school gymnasium after sporting events; the school then puts money into the travel account in exchange for work.
Sandbulte said there could also be a winter fundraiser in January or February, although she does not yet have details on what that will be.
She is grateful for all the support the communities in the school district have shown over the years to make the trip happen.
“I’m taking parents who came with me the first time, who are going this time, who are going for the second time,” she said. âThis time they are going with their children.